Discussion #14: Story

I would hope that you are going back, on occasion, and reading some of the previous discussions. Many of you have added to what was written during a specific week, and I would hope that it is still being read, even though the writing might have taken place, after
the discussion had focused elsewhere. If you haven’t been doing so, I would suggest you might want to try it. There is some really good stuff being written here.

It has been said, often, and in many ways, that we as writers always leave a bit of our own person within whatever we might be writing. I believe that is true, simply because we come from our own experiences, or ones we have heard others speak about. Even when we come from another’s story, we often wonder how we would respond under such circumstances.

I take that a bit further. I think there is a bit of story that accompanies every poem we create. It might be how the poem came to be, or why a certain line was written in a certain fashion, or some particular words were chosen rather than others. This week, I’d like us to share one of those bits of story about a poem we have written. But, it has to be a poem that has been published or posted on your blog. I would like you to leave the URL for that particular poem in your comments, so we can go read it after hearing your bit of story.

Here is mine: This poem was written in response to a prompt, and the prompt is explained at the site of the poem. When I was young, I loved to dance, but also suffered from self-consciousness. Although I danced in public, I never really let it all hang out unless I was alone.

When I began writing, I often thought of my poetry as a form of dancing, with and through the words, making up the music as I moved across the paper. Most of my poetry is personal and the idea of listening, and then dancing to the music of ones own inner voice, was a corner stone of my concept of poetry and all writing. At first, when I saw the prompt, I simply went blank. Then began to read through some of the poems on my blog, looking for the necessary element required to respond to the prompt. When I found it, I knew it was the one I needed to use. I can no longer dance in the physical sense, but I have found a way to continue to move to my own inner music.

The poem is biographical, it comes from my own experience, and I feel it is strong because of that reality. The poem itself is a huge piece of my story. You can find it here:
http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2010/12/28/the-dancer/

Your turn:

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About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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6 Responses to Discussion #14: Story

  1. Tilly Bud says:

    I always click the comment link so I don’t miss anything, and occasionally go back and read a whole discussion. Thanks again for setting this up, Elizabeth.

    I like today’s idea.

  2. Tilly Bud says:

    Will come back to this when I have proper time to give to it.

  3. anl4 says:

    I really cannot say. When it comes to the prompts, some is triggered, even if I do not know what it is. Or sometimes it is exactly what I am thinking. Writing is discovery for me, it like opening a box, and I don’t know what is inside until I open it.

  4. Irene says:

    Thanks Elizabeth for prodding us to open up about process.

    For me, when I sit down and write, I try and absorb the here and now. I know often the past is our source material, but the present is equally a source. Don’t forget the present!

    I’ve written a poem to a prompt, from The Sunday Whirl, and it’s comprised of two things in the present, how my son is recovering from a bad flu, and a TV show about sea gypsies. I mean, that’s the story behind the poem, if you’re looking into context or process. Often my poems are a composite of past and present. You can read the poem here.

  5. Mike Patrick says:

    My father was a little man. At the time of his death, he weighed 148 pounds, the heaviest he had ever been in his life. To make him look even smaller, he had rather round shoulders. He was a good father, but not demonstrative. I once heard him comment about a young couple walking down the street entangled almost to the point of intercourse. He said there was no place for PDAs. PDA was a onetime military term for Public Displays of Affection.

    I know my father loved my siblings and me. He worked hard at two jobs to provide for us, he taught us and guided us. He was the most honest and honorable man I’ve ever met—but he never said, “I love you.”

    Dad met Mom while he was in the Army during World War II. He never talked about the war, said he never saw combat, but he was awarded the Bronze Star. We never found anything in his papers explaining how he got it, and a fire in the Military Records Center, here in St. Louis, destroyed thousands of military records. The “P” for Patrick section was one of those destroyed.

    The first line (actually the first stanza) of my poem, No Words, http://thepoetsquill.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/no-words-2/, and the last one, were both written about him. The first, because standing beside him as a parade passed down the street was always a memorable experience. Every time the Stars and Stripes approached, he stood at rigid attention, pulling those rounded shoulders back, head up and chin down; and he remained that way until the flag had passed—and for every flag in the parade, there were tears running down his face.

    The last stanza was written about him because I didn’t get the chance to tell him I loved him before he died. I’d like to think he knew.

  6. pmwanken says:

    Elizabeth, you’ve chosen an interesting exercise, indeed.

    Over the course of the past week, I’ve gone back and read through ALL of my poems posted on my blog. For some of you to do that would take more than a few days. My poems, however, only number just over 200.

    I started reading through to choose one that had something of my story in it, but quickly realized that one after the next after the next fell into that category! I then switched to looking for a poem that wasn’t so autobiographical but had a line or two in it that I could identify as having some connection to me/my life/my story.

    What a hard task! I could end up choosing something from EACH poem!

    So…what should I choose to tell you about…??

    In some of my poems you will see the pattern of a lost little girl who grew up in a home that wasn’t always so happy…

    A Loss of Innocence
    or
    A Loss of Knowing

    You could read of how the people in my life helped:
    Monica
    or hurt:
    Like a Child

    And how I’ve discovered I’m a writer:
    Joy of Discovery
    and
    echoes from the silence

    I hope that throughout, you’ll see I’m living as a redeemed person through my faith:
    The Prodigal’s Poem
    and
    A Sheep Gone Astray

    And if you’ve read ANY of my poetry, you’ll know I’ve told the story of heartbreak:
    The Colors of My Day
    and hope:
    Clear Vision

    Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you…with every poem I write.

    ~ Paula

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